About Kurdistan and Kurdish Cuisine

Who are the Kurds?

The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without their own state. They live in a crescent-shaped swath of land that spans Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

What is Kurdish Cuisine?

If you ask a Kurd what the difference between Turkish food and Kurdish food is, they will often answer that there is no Turkish food, and that all the food from the region has its origin with the Kurds. While you can believe this as you will, it does highlight the difficulties in defining what “Kurdish Food” is, since many of their dishes have probably been appropriated into the cultures of the nation states who control Kurdish land.

Just as Kurds who live in Tehran have a different lifestyle than Kurdish shepherds, so the styles of cuisine, I’m sure, also vary widely within the Kurdish diaspora and depend heavily on the ingredients available. My husband is from a shepherding community in Eastern Turkey, and all the dishes we will present on this site are dishes that he and his family eat at home, albeit modified due to the limitations of our local supermarket.

About our Kitchen

We are staunch “edge of the supermarket” people. All our dishes contain only fresh vegetables, yogurt, olive oil, meat, and dried beans/ lentils. Cooking with fresh ingredients is very rewarding and healthy, and it really isn’t any more difficult than working with highly processed or frozen ingredients. We also don’t have a food processor or a lot of fancy kitchen gadgets. All you really need is a sharp knife, a few pots and pans, and a cutting board.


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